Most of us have worked for a boss summoned from hell to torment hard-working employees. Maybe your manager is incompetent, condescending, unreasonably demanding or just hates their life in general and takes it out on workers who feel like they have no choice but to put up with abuse until they find a better job.
The company culture may be so toxic that you start dreading Monday on Friday afternoon. Or you start feeling anxious on Sunday night about returning to work on Monday. If you have a soul-killing job, you may be tempted to “rage quit,” a term for leaving your job abruptly, maybe even with a dramatic flourish.
You’ll find no shortage of retail and other service workers rage-quitting by announcing their exit in a profanity-laced tirade over the store P.A. system. Even news anchors have rage quit high-profile positions on live TV. But like most temper tantrums, rage-quitting can backfire.
For one thing, you can kiss a good job reference goodbye. Along with the toxic job disappearing from your life, so will your income until you find a new employer. That’s why it’s important to take important steps before quitting for your financial well-being.
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Top reasons for quitting in a rage
Nearly half of workers (47 percent) surveyed rage quit due to poor management, according to a survey by accounting software company Skynova. Around 44 percent left in a huff because of a toxic boss, and 40 percent could no longer handle excessive work stress.
Other reasons for rage quitting include:
- Toxic coworkers (39 percent)
- Culture of overworking (35 percent)
- Being underpaid (35 percent)
- Feeling underappreciated (32 percent)
- Lack of regard for employee mental health (30 percent)
- Poor work/life balance (28 percent)
- Lacking investment in the work (24 percent)
According to the same survey, 14 percent of rage-quitters had “a lot or a great deal of regret” about their abrupt exit while 38 percent had “no regrets at all.”
If you’re pushed beyond your boiling point at work, quitting without notice may seem like your only option to preserve your mental health. But if you suffer financially, that’s a huge stressor on your mental wellbeing as well as on financial stability.
Four steps to take before rage-quitting your job
If you spent the weekend preparing your exit rant from a job you hate, hold off for now. Instead, take a breath and think about steps you can take to avoid regret because leaving puts a strain on your ability to pay the bills.
Here are steps you can take before your mean boss becomes just a forgettable figure in the rearview mirror of your employment history.
1. Come up with a plan
Tough it out at work for a little longer if you can while you look for another job. Meanwhile, come up with a plan to avoid financial setbacks. Find a side hustle so that after you quit, you still have some income while looking for a full-time job. Sign up with a temp agency, secure a part-time job doing something you enjoy, mow lawns or pet sit for your neighbors.
Just make sure you still have a source of income before you quit. That way, financial desperation won’t force you to take another soul-crushing job.
2. Build savings
The best way to make quitting a job before you have another one as smooth as possible is to have at least enough savings to pay monthly expenses for at least a few months (ideally, five or six months). You don’t want to damage your credit because you fell behind on monthly bills.
Think it’s impossible to save a lot in a short period? Maybe not. Sell stuff you don’t use. Take on a side hustle in addition to your current job and deposit every penny from those paychecks into a savings account. That way, when you quit the toxic job, you won’t have pressure to find a new job immediately.
3. Pay off debt
Before you quit, try to pay off credit cards so you don’t have those monthly bills hanging over your head while you look for a new full-time job. If you can, pay a couple of months ahead on car payments and rent or mortgage payments.
4. Rethink rage-quitting
While quitting in a rage may feel good in the moment, that’s a moment that can come back to haunt you in many ways. Instead, while you pay off debt, build savings and look for another job, stick it out as long as you can while finding ways to destress.
For example, work out more at the gym or make long, contemplative walks part of your nightly routine. Spend more time with positive, optimistic friends who can lend an ear and offer job search advice or referrals to potential employers. Volunteer for a good cause so you feel good about yourself despite your current work situation.
Then when the time is right, give proper notice so you can move on to a job you enjoy.
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